US 20090077701 A1
A disposable elastomeric glove has a secondary cuff disposed distally of a primary cuff on a wrist region of the glove. The secondary cuff may be grasped by an opposite hand to safely remove the glove with the primary cuff in place to protect the skin on the wrist from contaminants on the opposite hand. The secondary cuff approximates the design of the primary cuff such that the removal process is similar to that of a conventional glove.
1. A personal protection apparatus adapted to be worn on a human hand for prevention of contact with chemical or biological contaminants, which comprises:
a hand body defining a hollow enclosure terminating at an open entry end for permitting entry and reception of at least a hand of a wearer, the hand body defining a body axis;
a primary cuff adjacent to the open entry end; and
a secondary cuff attached to the hand body along an attachment region axially displaced from the open entry end along the body axis, the secondary cuff extending outwardly from the hand body to define a spacing between the primary and secondary cuff to facilitate grasping of the secondary cuff and subsequent removal of the hand body while substantially minimizing contamination of the hand during removal.
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16. A personal protection device adapted to be worn on a human hand for prevention of contact with chemical or biological contaminants, which comprises:
a glove body defining a hollow enclosure terminating at an open proximal periphery of a primary cuff permitting entry of a hand, the glove body comprising a single layer of an impermeable elastomeric material; and
a secondary cuff including a proximal edge substantially spaced in a distal direction from the open proximal periphery and being affixed to the glove body at an annular attachment region substantially encircling the glove body.
1. Technical Field
The present disclosure relates to protective gloves, and, in particular, relates to elastic gloves of the type used in administering chemotherapy drugs or other medically related practices.
2. Background of Related Art
Gloves and other personal protection equipment are often used in the medical and related fields to help prevent contamination between caregivers and patients. Disposable elastic gloves are often packaged as sterile or non-sterile products and used for surgical or examination purposes. The gloves are commonly fabricated from a thin elastomeric material such as latex, which can stretch to the shape of a hand to provide a very close fit and allow for an unimpaired tactile sense. This close fit feature can create difficulty in safely removing gloves that have become contaminated with biological or chemical hazards. To remove a glove, a clinician will often reach under the cuff with a finger or thumb of the opposite hand and peel the cuff toward the fingertips. Because the gloves are stretched taught against the wrist or forearm, even when extreme care is used this practice risks contact of the exterior surface of a glove with the skin and a resulting contamination of the skin.
One area in the medical field where skin contamination is a particular concern is the administering and mixing of chemotherapy drugs. Chemotherapy drugs are among the most potent and toxic (many have been identified as carcinogens) drugs available. on a milligram per milligram basis. Patients usually receive them only after they have been safely diluted, but clinicians often must handle these drugs in their un-diluted form. Accordingly, clinicians typically wear protective gloves which are specifically adapted for this purpose. The Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) recommends that although the likelihood of permeation through these gloves is small, double gloves should be worn for all activities involving hazardous drugs to protect the clinician's hands from the contamination associated with removing the gloves. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) also makes this recommendation so that a contaminated finger or thumb can be slipped between the gloves to remove the outer glove first without contacting the skin on the forearm. This practice will expose the clean inner glove which may then be used to remove the glove on the opposite hand.
Unfortunately, clinicians frequently fail to follow the recommendations set forth by the ONS and NIOSH due to the inconvenience of the additional time it takes to don an extra pair of gloves. Additionally, wearing two full sets of gloves detracts from the clinician's tactile sense. This impairment of dexterity makes it difficult to manipulate the small vials and glass ampoules in which chemotherapy drugs are often stored. Accordingly, there is a need for a glove that can be safely removed while not encroach on a clinician's ability to perform her job.
The present disclosure describes a personal protection apparatus which may be worn on the hand to protect the wearer from contact with chemical or biological contaminants. In a preferred embodiment, the apparatus is a glove having a body formed from a material that is impermeable to the anticipated contaminants and includes a primary cuff at the proximal end. Affixed to the glove body at an annular attachment region encircling the glove body is a secondary cuff extending outwardly and proximally to a free end such that the wearer may grip the secondary cuff to remove the glove in the normal fashion without making contact with the skin on the forearm.
The secondary cuff may be attached to the glove body such that it is independent of the primary cuff and the attachment may be made entirely within a wrist portion of the glove. The proximal edges of the cuffs may be substantially spaced to facilitate grasping of secondary cuff with an opposite hand which may be contaminated. The glove body may be configured and dimensioned with materials selected such that the glove is suitable for use with common chemotherapy drugs.
The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate embodiments of the present disclosure and, together with the detailed description of the embodiments given below, serve to explain the principles of the disclosure.
The attached figures illustrate exemplary embodiments of the present disclosure and are referenced to describe the embodiments depicted therein. Hereinafter, the disclosure will be described in detail by explaining the figures wherein like reference numerals represent like parts throughout the several views. In the discussion that follows, the term “clinician” refers to a doctor, nurse, pharmacist or other care provider and may include support personnel, while the term “wearer” is a more general term referring to any user of personal protection equipment described herein. The term “proximal” as is traditional will refer to the direction toward the wearer, while the term “distal” will refer to the direction away from the wearer.
Referring initially to
Primary cuff 10 circumscribes proximal opening 40, which provides an entry point for a hand. Primary cuff 10 may be adapted for wrapping tightly around the wrist of a wearer to prevent penetration of contaminants between the glove and the wrist. Beaded proximal periphery 11 may be included as shown here, but the particular edge configuration of primary cuff 10 is not essential. Secondary cuff 12 is affixed to glove body 16 at attachment region 14 in the vicinity of wrist portion 20 and extends both outwardly and proximally from attachment region 14 toward beaded edge 13 at its free end. The particular edge configuration of the secondary cuff 12 is also not essential. Attachment region 14 encircles wrist portion 20 of glove body 16 so that secondary cuff 12 may resemble primary cuff 10, but, it is not essential that secondary cuff 12 be affixed to glove body 16 at each point within the region. Secondary cuff 12 may entirely circumscribe glove body 16, or alternatively, may extend around only a major portion, a substantial portion, or lesser portion of the circumference of glove body 16. The proximal most edges of primary and secondary cuffs 10, 12 are separated axially by grasping zone 34, which is broad enough that the wearer may comfortably rest a finger or thumb within grasping zone 34 without concern that the finger or thumb will protrude beyond primary cuff 10 to skin which may be unprotected. Grasping zone 34 provides a contact area the wearer may safely contact, possibly with the exterior of a contaminated glove, in order to remove double-cuffed hand cover 1. Secondary cuff 12 need not be formed from an impermeable material like glove body 16, but, preferably, maintains similar flexibility and elasticity characteristics.
Secondary cuff 12 must be securely affixed to glove body 16 in a manner that does not interfere with its impermeability. Preferably, this is accomplished by co-molding a stout, generally cylindrically shaped flap of a thermoplastic elastomer entirely encircling glove body 16 at annular attachment region 14. Co-molding is a manufacturing process allowing for disparate materials to be formed together into a single integrated unit as seen in
Although an independent secondary cuff 12 as shown in
Certain design features are preferable when gloves are adapted to be used by clinicians for handling common chemotherapy drugs. For example, the overall size may vary, but the overall length from the distal-most tip to the proximal opening is preferably approximately 12 inches so that the wrists may be fully protected. Although there are no formal requirements for the materials selected for chemotherapy gloves, a widely used test is ASTM F739, “Standard Method for Determining Resistance to Chemical Permeation under Conditions of Continuous Contact.” Latex with a thickness of in the range of about 9 to about 18 mils at the fingertips has been found to work well, as has nitrile and neoprene with a thickness of about 8 to about 9 mils. The thickness of the material will depend on the level of protection required. For any material and protection level selected, the thickness is preferably minimized to allow the clinician to maintain an acute sense of feel.
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Finally, a hand cover with a double-cuffed arrangement need not incorporate glove body 16, as shown in the drawing figures, to provide accommodation for each individual finger. A hand body in the form of a mitten, accommodating only a thumb individually, may be used, or a simple sleeve covering the hand may be appropriate.
Although the foregoing disclosure has been described in some detail by way of illustration and example, for purposes of clarity or understanding, it will be obvious that certain changes and modifications may be practiced within the scope of the appended claims.